Vertex Festival Makes a Stellar Debut in Colorado
August 5th 2016 marked the debut of Vertex Festival in Buena Vista, Colorado. From the start, it was clear that this festival was going to be something special. Three days later, Vertex left most of its guests vowing to return next year. The vision behind Vertex was inspired by its majestic high elevation home at 8,000 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains. Where sky meets peaks, peaks meet valleys and valleys meet rivers. Honestly, saying it’s beautiful is an understatement to the true natural beauty found here.
Making our way to Buena Vista for the first time, we were pleased to see how the traffic signs were marked so clearly for festival goers. Miles outside of BV, festival signs were posted pointing you in the correct direction. Reaching the festival entrance was no problem, and almost no wait either! Before entering the camping lots, security forces were on hand to perform vehicle searches. They had four to five lines of vehicles being looked at the same time. This caused a minor delay entering the camping lots, but nothing to get upset about. While in line, some folks negatively voiced their opinion to security on how long they had been waiting, (as if that would make the line go faster). We applaud security for staying professional, and for not lowering their standards in order to please those who had become impatient in line.
Once through security the parking attendants on hand provided plenty of space between vehicles in order to set up camp. Getting all the camping gear unpacked and set up was simple and exciting knowing we were finally here. Walking up to the festival gates posed some intrigue not knowing what to expect once we got in. Wait times to enter were incredibly short, which was amazing! Once inside the festival, we headed straight to an interview with artist Big Wild prior to his performance on the Cottonwood Parlor Stage. Notable performances throughout the day included Emancipator & Jai Wolf who did a stellar job keeping energy levels high leading up to Gramatik who took us past midnight and into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Jai Wolf – Indian Summer
As the sun’s rays crested the mountain peaks, our tent lit up like a lantern. It was clear that no more sleep would be had. Stepping outside to stretch and take a deep breathe of mountain fresh air was unbelievably refreshing. As our group gathered together we created a list of items needed from town. A customary shuttle ran from the festival grounds to downtown. Patrons utilized the shuttle in order to resupply throughout the day. Once we had resupplied, the rest of the afternoon was spent running between the beach party, catching an early set by Robert DeLong at Princeton Garden and walking the festival grounds. Realizing that the nights lineup would require a lot of energy, it was time to refuel. We split up and ordered from the top vendors inside the festival – pierogies, tacos, nachos, & pizza creating a huge smorgasbord. Food was a little pricey, but nothing outrageous. We spent the next six hours in a non-stop dance party. Rufus Du Sol, Duke Dumont, & Lettuce were perfect acts to lead up to headliners Odesza. The duo took us into early Sunday morning with a blowout performance which included the drumline from Colorado University.
Before ending the night and returning to base camp, we made our way over to the Silent Disco. One of the more unique and exciting features Vertex festival hosted. For those who are unaware of what a silent disco is; imagine a few hundred people all wearing light up headphones. Now add a live DJ in there whose set is being transmitted wirelessly to everyone in the crowd. We had an amazing time dancing all night under the stars and neon lights!
By mid-morning Sunday campsites were being taken down and packed away. Festival volunteers were hard at work collecting trash & recyclables throughout the grounds. While that was going on, we spent the morning talking with festival patrons about their overall experience. It came as no surprise, that everyone we spoke with said they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This festival did an amazing job in its inaugural year of creating a fun and safe environment for everyone from kids to adults. Morning yoga, and stretching sessions were a great way to start the day. For the adventurers out there, they offered rafting trips, hiking, and ghost town tours. A disc golf course was a great way to explore the surrounding areas, Vertex had something for everyone. The art work and live shows were entertaining, vendors were unique and friendly. Watering points were easily accessible, and showering areas were centrally located.
Lastly, Only The Beat would like to thank Vertex Festival, Madison House Presents, & AEG Live Rocky Mountain for having us this year! We’re already looking forward to celebrating year two with you next Summer!
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